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#1 Posted by LiquidPrince (15610 posts) -

So I have a class where I just wrote a 12 page essay for about The Shining novel by King versus the Kubrick movie, and the movie kind of terrible... or it's kind of terrible as an adaption of King's novel. Now I won't paste my 12 page essay on here, but it was surreal hearing the bomb squad talking about The Shining hours after I finished the essay.

Basically I mentioned that by omitting key character back stories, story elements and motivations, the movie ends up being devoid of the same human based psychological drama that is the key element of King's work, and the story instead just devolves into a typical haunted house/slasher flick.

I mean none of the back stories of the Torrance family is explored in the movie, which makes Jack's transformation from a guy down on his luck and fighting his inner demons, to a character who is straight up a psychopath from the outset. I mean why does he suddenly start cursing up a storm when Wendy walks in on him typing his story? Cabin fever? In the book, the presence of Danny and his immense shining powers start to empower the "ghost" of the overlook to the point where they can do more then just haunt the hotel. They physically start manifesting so that even people who don't shine can see them. It's these same ghosts that play around with Jack's mind and start having him becoming crazier. The whole thread about Danny being the catalyst isn't even brought up in the movie, and instead his only powers are essentially telepathy.

So, maybe I was being judgmental because of my assignment and since I had just read the novel, but what about Kubrick's work makes it exactly a classic? Was it really technically well produced for the time? Because as an adaption of King's book, it kind of sucks.

#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9379 posts) -

@liquidprince:

You talking crazy. It's not great. But it's not bad either.

#3 Edited by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Books are, 90% of the time, better than the movies.

#4 Posted by TooWalrus (12978 posts) -

@liquidprince: @jasonr86: I usually read "it kind of sucks" and "it's not great" as synonyms. I haven't seen The Shining though. I should probably check this thing out- it seems like one of those classics everyone should see, even if it doesn't hold up, or stand out as particularly great.

#5 Posted by LiquidPrince (15610 posts) -

Books are, 90% of the time, better than the movies.

But like in this case it's A LOT better. Like the ending in the movie is so dumb compared to the book. "I'ma freeze to death yo!"

#6 Posted by JasonR86 (9379 posts) -

@liquidprince: @jasonr86: I usually read "it kind of sucks" and "it's not great" as synonyms. I haven't seen The Shining though. I should probably check this thing out- it seems like one of those classics everyone should see, even if it doesn't hold up, or stand out as particularly great.

Alright. That's fine. You would see it though. It's worth seeing at least. But I also don't own it so there's that.

#7 Posted by TooWalrus (12978 posts) -

@joshthebear said:

Books are, 90% of the time, better than the movies.

But like in this case it's A LOT better. Like the ending in the movie is so dumb compared to the book. "I'ma freeze to death yo!"

Great. SPOILERS. (kidding, obviously).

#8 Posted by oraknabo (1426 posts) -

This movie is a huge improvement on the book. What do you mean by "human based psychological drama"? King is absolutely terrible at psychological horror. The horror elements in his books are almost always literal, not psychological. The Shining has actual animated hedge animals that hunt people down and kill them. The maze in the movie is far more subtle and psychological.

#9 Edited by BoOzak (839 posts) -

I think most of King's novels would be better adapted into mini-series rather than movies (like Rose Red) because a lot of them are slow burners.

Saying that though you cant go wrong with a psychopathic Jack Nicholson, faithfull adaption or otherwise.

#10 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

As an adaptation, it is poor. As a film, it's awesome.

#11 Posted by LiquidPrince (15610 posts) -

@oraknabo said:

This movie is a huge improvement on the book. What do you mean by "human based psychological drama"? King is absolutely terrible at psychological horror. The horror elements in his books are almost always literal, not psychological. The Shining has actual animated hedge animals that hunt people down and kill them. The maze in the movie is far more subtle and psychological.

Right, but a key theme of the novel was how parents shape there kids, and a lot of the psychological trauma that Jack has which ultimately makes him go crazy is due to his father and his alcoholism a bunch of other stuff. Elements that were not even hinted at in the movie. I mean Nicholson was giving everyone the pedo stare as soon as they started staying in the hotel in the movie. His transformation into a crazy person was so random... I mean a ghost was like, "yo, kill your wife" and he was like "alright." The book has so much back and forth between him trying to be a good father and loving Danny, and the ghosts seeping into his brain, trying to justify him killing his family the way Jack's father had almost killed his mother.

#12 Posted by Hunter5024 (5175 posts) -

I watched it for the first time a couple of years ago and didn't care for it at all. I don't know why anyone thinks long pointless shots are a good tension builder, they left me bored out of my mind. Then all of the supernatural nonsense that's going on in that movie never gets explained, so we're left to either just accept it all as a necessary plot device, or spend decades trying to figure out how to make sense of everything. I don't know what anyone sees in that movie other than Jack Nicholson's performance. It was boring, then confusing, then frustrating.

#13 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2353 posts) -

Nicholson's wife is the scariest thing in the movie.

#14 Posted by D_Bones (362 posts) -

@barrock said:

As an adaptation, it is poor. As a film, it's awesome.

what this guy said. As a king fan the story of the film is nowhere near as detailed and I can see why you would be pissed especially about the ending I sort of was. But watching the film on its own merits the techniques, editing etc. it's really good. Kubrick was sort of amazing. But yeah compared to the story sort of disappointing.

#15 Edited by Bocam (3553 posts) -

Have you seen the TV miniseries version of The Shining? Holy fucking shit it's bad

#16 Posted by oraknabo (1426 posts) -
#17 Posted by LiquidPrince (15610 posts) -
#18 Edited by StarFoxA (5123 posts) -

I have not read the book, but I was under the impression that the film was Kubrick's own work and merely based on the book, not an adaptation of the novel.

#19 Posted by JasonR86 (9379 posts) -

@oraknabo said:

@bocam said:

Have you seen the TV miniseries version of The Shining?

I was just about to recommend he watch this if he can get his hands on it. King felt like it was far more faithful to his original vision and I completely agree with you on its quality.

http://members.tripod.com/~Stephen_King_Temple/index-14.html

I've heard that it is pretty bad.

It's ok. I remember thinking that the last episode was pretty good.

#20 Edited by gaminghooligan (1347 posts) -

Books. FTW. Forever and Always.

#21 Posted by TruthTellah (7669 posts) -

You're a bad movie...

Online
#22 Posted by oraknabo (1426 posts) -

Right, but a key theme of the novel was how parents shape there kids, and a lot of the psychological trauma that Jack has which ultimately makes him go crazy is due to his father and his alcoholism a bunch of other stuff. Elements that were not even hinted at in the movie.

I will concede that there were some decent character building scenes with Jack early in the book. I probably read it close to 25 years ago and still remember the stuff at the start about his drinking and anger issues pretty well but I also think a director's goal should always be to make a great movie, not a carbon copy of the book. I think the King movies that work best were when really talented directors like Kubrick and Cronenberg projected their own interests on the stories. The worst ones are when hacks like Mick Garris just follow the books like they're the movie script.

#23 Edited by probablytuna (3445 posts) -

While I haven't read the book, I feel like The Shining is a pretty good movie.

Also every time I think about The Shining I am reminded of this:

#24 Edited by LiquidPrince (15610 posts) -

@probablytuna: Ullman is an asshole in the book. Here he's just nice.

#25 Posted by EVO (3782 posts) -

I think it's one of Kubrick's best. You've probably analysed the film to death but watch this if you haven't already. The amount of care that went into the set design is mind boggling.

#26 Posted by Daveyo520 (6597 posts) -

While we're at it I don't like 2001: A Space Odyssey

#27 Posted by casper_ (882 posts) -

the shining may be a bad adaptation but that doesn't matter to me because i think the film is way more interesting than the book. arthur c clarke got upset about kubrick's adaptation of 2001 (which was much more straight-forward and not at all mysterious) as well. kubrick wasn't afraid to leave a lot of things unexplained which i like because most stories we are told are explained to death and that can remove a lot of the mystery and personal involvement/speculation from the viewer.

#28 Posted by Hailinel (22720 posts) -

@joshthebear said:

Books are, 90% of the time, better than the movies.

But like in this case it's A LOT better. Like the ending in the movie is so dumb compared to the book. "I'ma freeze to death yo!"

Not really. The movie is just a very different thing. The ending is rather fitting, in my mind.

#29 Edited by Kazona (3055 posts) -

If you want a more faithful adaption of the book you should watch the miniseries that can out in 1997.

#30 Edited by guiseppe (2833 posts) -
  
#31 Posted by uniform (1830 posts) -

I love it. My third favorite Kubrick film behind 2001 and Barry Lyndon.

#32 Edited by chrissedoff (2041 posts) -

@liquidprince The book is just OK. The movie takes the few really intriguing nuggets of the book and makes them the core of a really terrifying, mindbending experience that's so meticulously crafted and dense that a feature-length documentary dissecting the movie was just released, to very positive reviews. Honestly, I would tell people to skip the book completely and just watch the movie, because I worry that people's viewing experience would be plagued by the wrongheaded impulse to compare what they see on the screen to what they remember from the page while watching, distracting them from what's actually in the film. Unfortunately, our culture is such that people have been subtly conditioned to think that reading books is an inherently more intellectual exercise than watching a movie and therefore film adaptations of novels are only ever as good as they are faithful to the source material. Adopting this mentality supposedly makes one a Thoughtful and Serious Person who truly understands and appreciates Finer Artforms. You've definitely fallen prey to this fallacy (sorry, real talk) and I don't see how complaining about how the movie doesn't faithfully represent the content or the themes of the novel could ever be worth anything more than a "C" at best, because it misses the point by a pretty good margin.

#33 Posted by chrissedoff (2041 posts) -

@uniform said:

I love it. My third favorite Kubrick film behind 2001 and Barry Lyndon.

Hell yeah Barry Lyndon! That's such an incredible, yet overlooked, movie. If Paths of Glory is your #4, we might just be soulmates.

#34 Edited by Sarnecki (683 posts) -

This guy would lose his god damn monkey mind if he saw 2001.

#35 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

You're kind of a bad movie!

There's a thing called cinema. That's what's in The Shining. It's not about some book adaptation. If all you want is the story then just read the book.

#36 Posted by MooseyMcMan (9765 posts) -

I just like it because it's weird.

#37 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

@liquidprince said:

Basically I mentioned that by omitting key character back stories, story elements and motivations, the movie ends up being devoid of the same human based psychological drama that is the key element of King's work, and the story instead just devolves into a typical haunted house/slasher flick.

I mean none of the back stories of the Torrance family is explored in the movie, which makes Jack's transformation from a guy down on his luck and fighting his inner demons, to a character who is straight up a psychopath from the outset. I mean why does he suddenly start cursing up a storm when Wendy walks in on him typing his story? Cabin fever? In the book, the presence of Danny and his immense shining powers start to empower the "ghost" of the overlook to the point where they can do more then just haunt the hotel. They physically start manifesting so that even people who don't shine can see them. It's these same ghosts that play around with Jack's mind and start having him becoming crazier. The whole thread about Danny being the catalyst isn't even brought up in the movie, and instead his only powers are essentially telepathy.

I haven't read the book and I stopped watching the movie half-way through (got disappointed when a great start went downhill), but this is a good argument. It's probably why I stopped watching.. Now I know!

#38 Edited by Stonyman65 (2406 posts) -

The more times I see that movie, the more I think that it was Kubrick just going insane. I don't think he meant it to be a true adaptation, but his own vision. All of the little things in there that you have to watch a couple times to catch everything and even then you are left scratching your head with some parts. For example, I just watched a docs about it and it really got me thinking about everything in the movie. There are just so many levels to everything it's kind of hard to wrap your head around. And that's not even considering the "Room 237" and "The Shining Code" bullshit. Want a good laugh? Watch "the Shining Codes 2.0". It makes the "I'm not say it was aliens but....it was aliens" guy look like a fucking academic scholar!

#39 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4282 posts) -

@joshthebear said:

Books are, 90% of the time, better than the movies.

But like in this case it's A LOT better. Like the ending in the movie is so dumb compared to the book. "I'ma freeze to death yo!"

Because shrubbery coming to life and the Overlook hotel exploding is such a thrilling climax?

The Shining (film) and The Shining (novel) are two separate beasts that tell different stories with the same plot, if that makes any sense. Like for instance the novel reads like some kind of personal confession from King as to how much of a shitty guy he was during his alcoholic years back in the 70's and early to mid 80's. It's like reading a raw, exposed nerve, and while that's interesting to read on its own, I found the clinical examination of madness in the film to be far more enjoyable, and that the film stayed with me long after I finished it. I also liked how the film didn't ever really say one way or the other if it was ghosts fucking with Jack or if it was his own instability or "inner demons" as you called it.

Also the bear blowing the bell hop was pretty weird.

#40 Posted by Fredchuckdave (4484 posts) -

@liquidprince: Stephen King is not a good author, rather he's a mediocre to bad author who's written so damn much that he'll occasionally blunder into a good story. Jack Nicholson is one of the best actors in existence.

#41 Edited by bunnymud (703 posts) -

I have yet to read a King book that I liked. I just cannot handle his bloat.

#42 Posted by FilipHolm (663 posts) -

I actually like the film better. And I usually prefer books. I'm not a fan of Steven King and I just think Kubrick's visual work on that movie is absolutely fantastic. The tension he creates with the simplest of methods is something the book never did for me.

#43 Edited by Kidavenger (3380 posts) -

All this coming from someone that loves the Transformer movies and thinks Megan Fox is a good actress is a real laugh.

If you consider The Shining to be a bad movie, you should probably just stop watching movies because you are in for a lifetime of disappointment otherwise.

#44 Posted by stonepawfox (235 posts) -

no man, it's obviously about the holocaust and the fake apollo 11 landing. don't you get it?

#45 Edited by MikkaQ (10225 posts) -

While I don't read any of your fancy word papers or book novels, I do appreciate a movie once in a while and this is one good fuckin' movie. Oh, except Shelley Duvall. She was the weak link, and by the end of the film I was cheering more for Jack Nicholson than for her. Still she's good at making her eyes bug out, which is a good horror movie trait.

#46 Posted by jillsandwich (761 posts) -

The book and the film are definitely trying to do very different things.

#48 Posted by Nightriff (4349 posts) -

Haven't read the book but to say the film is bad is ridiculous, it is a horror classic. Now I don't doubt the book is better, usually they are, but it is very hard to translate a book into a 2 hour film.

#49 Posted by hollitz (1171 posts) -

Very few movies that are considered classics actually hold up. Not unlike with games, people are in love with the idea of loving something old.

#50 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

This movie is great. It might look dated and miss some story elements, but I personally enjoy it. I will admit that the book is better though.

The Shining got a really weird release here in Norway. Our cinematic version was actually the American TV-version that had the bathtub-scene(among others) cut out. We didn't get a proper release until the late 90s that had the original length.